Nissan Skyline R33
217,133 units sold
|Assembly||Tochigi, Tochigi, Japan|
|Body style(s)||4-door sedan
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Engine(s)||2.0 L RB20E I6
2.5 L RB25DE I6
2.5 L RB25DE I6
2.5 L RB25DET I6
2.6 L RB26DETT I6 (GT-R)
2.8 L RBX-GT2 I6 (400R)
The R33 Skyline was introduced in August 1993. Slightly heavier than the R32, it is available in coupe and sedan bodystyles. All models now used a 6-cylinder engine. Nissan took the unusual step of down-grading the GTS model to have only the RB20E, while the twin-cam of the R32 GTS was discontinued along with the 2.0 L turbo RB20DET. As with the R32, all
manual transmissions on the 2.5 litre non-turbo models were 5 speed, all 2 litre and turbo 2.5 litre automatic models were equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Some models came equipped with a new version of the HICAS 4-wheel steering system called Super HICAS. This computer controlled system was first used on the R32 GTR. Super HICAS used electric actuators to steer the rear, as opposed to the hydraulic HICAS.
As an option, an active limited slip differential was available instead of the standard viscous LSD. This new unit locked the rear differential if it detected that traction was lost by one of the wheels. A light on the dash also lit up if the LSD engaged. Active LSD came standard on all V-spec R33 GT-R Skylines and was also available on a certain amount of ECR33 GTS25t models, these can be identified by the A-LSD and SLIP lights on the tachometer.
The RB25DE and RB25DET engines also became equipped with NVCS (variable inlet cam phasing). NVCS equipped RBs have a bulge on the front of the cam cover. To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Nissan introduced a very rare 4 door GT-R. Two versions of the 4-door GT-R were available from Nissan’s subsidiaries: the first was produced by Autech, and the second was a joint Autech/Nismo project.
A R33 based wagon was released in September 1996, called the Stagea. It had a different body style than the R33 and R34 and (with the exception of the RS FOUR & Autech variants) was only available with an automatic transmission. A common modification on the Stagea is to fit it with an R34 skyline front, in effect making a 4 door R34 wagon. The Stagea is the only four wheel drive manual transmission Nissan on the R33 platform with the RB25DET engine. Presumably, a 5 speed 4WD Skyline equipped with an RB25DET would have been too close in performance to the much more expensive GT-R. There was also an Autech Stagea, the 260RS released with full GT-R running gear, the RB26DETT engine, body kit, 17″ BBS style alloys, GT-R instrumentation, and manual transmission.
- HR33 GTS – 2.0 L RB20E SOHC I6, 130 PS (96 kW, 172 N m)
- ER33 GTS25 – 2.5 L RB25DE DOHC I6, 190 PS (140 kW, 231 N m)
- ENR33 GTS-4 – 2.5 L RB25DE DOHC I6, 190 PS (140 kW, 231 N m) 4WD
- ECR33 GTS25T – 2.5 L RB25DET DOHC turbo I6, 250 PS (184 kW, 294 N m)
The R33 Skyline (Series 2) continued the concepts introduced in the R32. Driver and Passenger airbags became standard in 1996. As a result, pre-1996 models are barred from being imported into various countries for consumer road use as they do not meet the frontal impact standards. For the RB25DET engine the ignition system was also changed, with the ignition module no longer located on the cam covers and was instead replaced by smart ignition coils (Ignitor built into coil) and ECU. The RB25DET turbo was also given a nylon compressor wheel. Throughout the time the R33 was produced there were quite a number of different styled lights and bodykits fitted, the actual body/chassis underwent no changes. Among the cosmetic changes in the series 2 were, the headlights which tapered down more towards the grill and were fitted with improved reflectors, the grill (which was longer on the Series 1), the bonnet which had a re-shaped leading edge to fit the new lights and front bumper changing shape in the smallest amount to match the lower edge of the new headlights. Later models of the Series 2 also had the option of having an Active-LSD fitted. The R33 ceased production in March 1998 with the 40th Anniversary R33 Series 2.
The BCNR33 GT-R version also had the same RB26DETT engine that the BNR32 was equipped with, although torque had been improved, due to changes in the turbo compressor aerodynamics, turbo dump pipe, and intercooler. The turbo core changed from a sleeve bearing to a ball bearing, but the turbine itself remained ceramic, except on N1 turbos (steel turbine, sleeve bearing). From the R33 onward, all GT-Rs received Brembo brakes.
In 1995 the GT-R received an improved version of the
A limited edition model was created in 1996, called the NISMO 400R, that produced 400 hp (298 kW) from a road-tuned version of Nissan’s Le Mans engine. A stronger six speed Getrag gearbox was used.
An R33 GT-R driven by Dirk Schoysman lapped the Nordschleife in less than 8 minutes. Though it was often said to be the first production car to break 8 minutes, the limited run Jaguar XJ220 had already achieved a 7’46″ lap. Other manufacturers had caught up since the R32 was released, and the R33 never dominated motorsport to the extent of the R32.
- GT-R – 2.6 L RB26DETT DOHC twin-turbo I6, 305 PS (224 kW, 375 N m) (advertised as 280 PS) 4WD
- GT-R LM – 2.6 L RB26DETT DOHC twin-turbo I6, 305 PS (224 kW) FR
- NISMO 400R – 2.8 L RBX-GT2 DOHC twin-turbo I6, 400 PS (294 kW, 478 N m) 4WD
- 4Dr.GT-R Autech.version – 2.6 L RB26DETT DOHC twin-turbo I6, 305 PS (224 kW, 375 N m) (advertised as 280 PS) 4WD